New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie smiles as he listens to a question in Trenton, N.J., Dec. 13, 2013. 
Mel Evans/AP

GOP, Christie gain as Obamacare stumbles


New polling finds Republicans gaining as Obamacare has been hit with additional deadline extensions.

Republicans now hold a 49% to 44% edge over Democrats, according to a CNN/ORC poll released Thursday morning. Democrats held a 50% to 42% advantage just two months ago in the same poll. 

While the midterm elections are a year away and 2016 is just beginning to heat up, the survey gives a read on current public opinion amid the health care law’s rollout—and how President Obama’s signature legislative achievement could affect future elections.

In another CNN/ORC poll, released Thursday afternoon, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie enjoyed favorable numbers—in a hypothetical match-up, the Republican would trump former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton 48% to 46%. Christie’s lead is within the margin of error, but it mirrors other polls. A recent poll taken in Iowa—a key state for 2016 contenders—showed Christie with a five-point lead against Clinton in a potential match-up. 

In both those polls, Christie’s biggest strength is with Independents. CNN found that six-in-10 Independents said they’d vote for the New Jersey governor if he were the Republican nominee.

Morning Joe , 12/27/13, 8:03 AM ET

A new push to keep 'fools' off GOP tickets

According to the Wall Street Journal, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and Karl Rove’s group “American Crossroads” are teaming up to support centrist candidates. The Morning Joe panelists discuss.

Over the holiday week, the deadline for signing up for Obamacare coverage by Jan. 1 was extended twice; delays and technical difficulties still mar the online exchange and some predict that there still may be people who thought they signed up for health plans, but will not be properly enrolled come the new year.

As the health law continues its tepid rollout, the poll found liberal voters unenthusiastic in general—just 22% of Democratic voters said they were very or extremely enthusiastic about voting in the 2014 midterms, while 36% of Republicans said the same.

There appears to be an appetite for anti-Obama candidates, too. Fifty-five percent said they’d vote next year for congressional candidates who oppose Obama, while 40% said they’d vote for candidates who support the president.

“Those kind of numbers spelled early trouble for the Democrats before the 1994 and 2010 midterms, and for the GOP before the 2006 elections,” CNN Polling Director Keating Holland reported.

The generic party match up poll surveyed 1,035 adults by telephone from Dec. 16-19; the sampling error is plus or minus three points. The 2016 match up poll surveyed 950 adults during the same time, with the same sampling error.

Chris Christie and Hillary Clinton

GOP, Christie gain as Obamacare stumbles